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Keywords:

  • Family physician;
  • Osteoarthritis;
  • Pain assessment;
  • Pain perception;
  • Quality of care

Abstract

Purpose. The objective is to study the assessment of pain severity, following the conventional family physician routines, in patients with peripheral osteoar-thritis.

Methods. The patient's perception of pain and the physician's assessment of the pain were measured by means of questionnaires and were compared in a study population of 198 patients with osteoarthritis.

Results. A rather low association was found between a patient's perception of pain and the physician's assessment of pain.

Conclusions. It is an accepted fact that too much treatment can have undesirable effects, and that inadequate management of symptoms seems to be associated with a reduced quality of life in osteoarthritic patients. In the absence of a high correlation between patient's perception and physician's assessment of pain severity, it is concluded that a patients' pain questionnaire could be a very useful instrument for improving the care given to patients with osteoarthritis in family practice.